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Friday, September 13, 2019

No More Sidelines and Muskegon Civic Theater Penguin Project 2019 - Peter Pan Jr.Oct 12-13 at the Frauenthal

It's project that's done across the country, but the power of what it does for a community is only a few years old around Muskegon.  The Penguin Project is an adaptation of a pretty familiar play that gives people with unique abilities a chance to be a part of a production that they would most likely otherwise never get a chance to do, and mentors and those who see the play a chance to see that what were thought as limits, well.....




No More Sidelines was founded in Muskegon about 15 years ago now.  Simply to be an organization that broke the stigma of "those kids" who were down the hall and away from other kids in a school.  The idea that a physical challenge or maybe a learning curve or genetic trait somehow isolated some kids, the idea kind of got to Cyndi Blair and the founding families of No More Sidelines.  So, like any great organization, out of a garage was born a group of friends, peer to peer support, outreach and engagement which has exceeded the wildest dreams of pretty much anyone involved in the early days.  The garage turned into the Folkert Community Hub on Seminole Road which is now the center for all things No More Sidelines and about to unveil a stunning new renovation to the building.  Stay tuned for details on that.

Muskegon Civic Theater Online
Sports were the main focus early on as the kids of NMS intermingled with the "other kids" around town.  But maybe not everyone is a basketball player of soccer buff.  Along came the idea of bringing The Penguin Project to Muskegon and seeing what performing arts could do.  The adapted plays pair the actors with mentors on stage and in Muskegon we've seen Annie Jr., Alladin Jr. and this year, Peter Pan Jr. comes to life on the stage at the Frauenthal on Oct 12th and 13th.  It's an amazing performance not only to see, but to support because no one walks away from this the same person they came in.  Lives are deeply touched.  Lifelong bonds are made.  New talents are discovered and as you'll hear in our video portion...even participants who were "non verbal" worked so very hard to speak,  They found their groove.

Yes, the tickets are for sale.  It's quite an endeavor on the biggest stage in town, with professional costumes and sets.  It also requires a little fundraising to help with the cost of the whole thing, so...No More Sidelines is inviting you out to see their home at the Folkert Community Hub and enjoy a "Peter Pan-cake" breakfast with all the fixins' on September 21st.  The address is 640 Seminole Road and the word is, those at the breakfast will be treated to a show preview as the cast performs some of the songs!

I met up with Cyndi Blair and Mark Lewis, who brought me in to the No More Sidelines fold years ago, as well as show director Michelle Prince to talk all about it!  Let's go!


Still the best bunch I've ever gotten involved with.  The shows are incredible and no different than any other stage play you'll enjoy to the fullest!  The purpose...is amazing.  The effects on the performers and production people are life changing and for Muskegon to have something this incredibly special, it's something to be proud of.  Click on the link below to get your tickets for Peter Pan Jr and don't miss it at the Frauenthal October 12th-13th.




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